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The Awful Truth

  NR HD Closed Captioning

Leo McCarey

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Plot Summary

Leo McCarey directed this classic screwball comedy in which Cary Grant and Irene Dunne play Jerry and Lucy Warriner, a couple whose marriage is starting to fall apart. Jerry informs Lucy that he's taking a vacation alone in Florida; instead, he holes up with his buddies and plays poker for a week (while sitting under a sun lamp so he'll have an appropriate tan). Lucy concludes that Jerry was never in Florida just as Jerry discovers that Lucy was spending her time with Armand Duvalle (Alex D'Arcy), a handsome voice teacher. Both Jerry and Lucy believe the other was unfaithful, so they agree to a trial divorce, with a bitter battle fought over custody of Mr. Smith, the dog (Lucy gets the dog, but Jerry has visitation rights). Determined to make Jerry jealous, Lucy continues keeping company with Armand while also dating Daniel Leeson (Ralph Bellamy), a wealthy oil man from Oklahoma. Convinced that turnabout is fair play, Jerry starts going out with Dixie Belle Lee (Joyce Compton), a brassy nightclub singer, as well as socialite Barbara Vance (Molly Lamont). However, Lucy has belatedly decided that she wants Jerry back, and she hatches a plan to win him back by making a spectacle of herself at a party. The Awful Truth was based on a play which had been filmed twice before, but McCarey gave his superb comic cast free reign to improvise and add new business, and the results were splendid; you haven't lived until you've heard Irene Dunne attempt to sing "Home on the Range."

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 23
  • Fresh: 21
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 7.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: To be frank, The Awful Truth is awfully unimportant, but it is also one of the more laughable screen comedies of 1937, a fairly good vintage year. – B.R. Crisler, New York Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Leo McCarey's largely improvised 1937 film is one of the funniest of the screwball comedies, and also one of the most serious at heart. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: A joy. – Film4, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Zappy, sophisticated screwball comedy with Grant and Dunne displaying perfect timing. – Geoff Andrew, Time Out, May 27, 2008

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

What can I say

Amazing, you have Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. So funny, personally i love the awesome comdey Brining up Baby which has Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

"I love to dance! Won several cups at it myself!"

Thank you, iTunes! Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are a hoot as a feuding, soon-to-be-divorced, glamorous New York couple, and Ralph Bellamy is funny as the wealthy mama's-boy Oklahoman that Irene Dunne talks herself into a new relationship with, in an attempt to save face in front of Grant. The nightclub scene between Dunne, Grant and Bellamy alone is alone worth the price of admission. Very funny movie.

One of the best!!!

I love this movie. It is funny and touching. I think every couple should watch this. They just don't make them the way they used to.

The Awful Truth
View In iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 1937

Customer Ratings